Nutanix on VMware vSphere ESX 8

Nutanix on VMware KB ID 0001866


In the wake of Broadcom doing its best to strangle VMware and its discontinuation of free ESX. I thought I’d look at the free alternatives. The most obvious is Nutanix CE (Community Edition) which is both free, and lets you have up to 4 nodes – which is impressive, as Free ESX does not have clustering or access to vCenter.

Honest Opinion: It’s very flaky, if you want a solution that you can just roll out and it work out of the box, then don’t attempt to run this on ESX/VMware. I accept that it’s an unusual deployment scenario, but people will want to test it first, and if you’re moving from VMware to Nutanix you are going to test it in an environment you know. I was going to deploy a three node cluster and attempt to do some VMware > Nutanix migrations. But despite about a week of trawling forums I could not get the cluster to create and launch (yes, I enabled UUID) After a week I thought – OK I’ll try a single cluster, and that’s what I’m doing below

Solution: Nutanix on VMware

You will need a beefy ESX deployment each nodes VM Requirements: 4x vCPU, 64GB vRAM and 750GB of storage.

To get access to the download for the Community Edition you need to go the Nutanix create a login and say you want to test drive Nutanix CE edition, trying to find the download on the website – is confusingly hard. Wait until you get a confirmation email and that will have the link to the page you want.

Note: Remember your Nutanix login details (you will need them later.)

Before you start, the virtual switch(es) that will connect to the Nutanix VM(s) will need to have both promiscuous mode and forged transmits enabled. Note: I run EVE-NG so I have all the security settings set to accept.

Nutanix on VMware vSwitch Settings

Create a New Virtual Machine.

Nutanix on VMware ESX 8

Give the VM a sensible name i.e. Nutanix-CE-Node-1 > Next > Select a host, (or cluster if you have DRS enabled > Next > Select a Datastore with enough free space > Next.

Nutanix on VMware vSphere 8

Compatible with > ESX8 >Next > Add 4x vCPUs > Tick ‘Expose hardware assisted virtualisation to the guest OS‘ > Scroll down.

Nutanix on VMware VM Settings

Set the memory to 64GB > Scroll Down > Set the first  Hard Disk to 50Gb > Enable Thin Provisioning > Change the Controller to ‘New SATA Controller” > At this point scroll up select ‘Add Hardware” > Add a further TWO hard disks > they will appear just below the 50GB one you have already configured > Set the second disk to 200GB > Thin Provisioned > New SATA Controller > Scroll down.

Nutanix on VMware VM Requirements

Set the last disk to 500GB > Thin Provisioned > New SATA Controller > Ensure the VM is in the correct port group > Set the CD/DVD ROM drive to the Nutanix installer iso image > Select ‘Connect at Power On‘ > Next > Finish.

Nutanix on VMware ISO

The following step you should not need to do for a single host cluster, but it is a requirement if your intending on creating multiple cluster hosts > Edit the VM Settings > Advanced Properties > Create a new attribute called disk.EnableUUID and set its value to TRUE > Add > OK

Nutanix on VMware Enable UUID

Power on the VM and go grab a coffee > Select AHV (the Nutanix Hypervisor) > Make sure the correct disks are set for H (boot) D (Data) and C (CVM) > Add the host and CVM IP addresses  > Add the subnet and default gateway > Tick create a single cluster and add a DNS server. > Next Page.

Note: If you were not creating a single node cluster, you would obviously leave that option blank, and manually create a multi node cluster by logging into the CVM later (see notes below).


Nutanix on VMware Create Cluster

This is another flaky thing I don’t like > YOU NEED TO scroll all the way to the bottom of the EULA text then use the tab button > then select I accept with the space bar. If you dont scroll down, the following step fails and sends you back here.

Nutanix on VMware EULA

Again good time for a coffee, when it’s done you will see this. Before you type ‘y’ to reboot carry out the next step.

Nutanix on VMware Install

In the VM properties disconnect the DVD iso.

Nutanix on VMware disconnect ISO

It will take a while but once the VM is up you can SSH into it (use the CVM IP Address!) The default credentials are.

Username: nutanix

Password: nutanix/4u


Nutanix on VMware SSH to CVM

More things I don’t like running Nutanix on VMware: The cluster didn’t come up; you can see that by running cluster status. As you can see a lot of services are listed as down. issue a cluster start command and go get another coffee. Do not proceed until all the services are up.

Nutanix on VMware Check Cluster Services

Browse to https://{CVM-IP-Address}:9440 > Log in with the default credentials and you will be asked to change the password > Do so, then reauthenticate with your new password. Warning this has a different username to the SSH login,

Username: admin

Password: nutanix/4u

Nutanix on VMware Prism Logon

Remember way back when we started thinking about Running Nutanix on VMware and I said you would need your Nutanix login credentials you setup on their website.

Nutanix on VMware VM Requirements

Note: If you get an error about not being able to contact the NEXT server, that because it’s not using the DNS server you setup above see the following article.

Nutanix: Could Not Reach Next Server

Finally we are runnning Nutanix on VMware.

Additional Notes: Running Nutanix on VMware

Although I could not get it to work, if you want to create a multi-node cluster then you use the following syntax using all the nodes CVM IP addresses (whilst logged into a CVM).

cluster -s,, create

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links


Author: PeteLong

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *